We’re always looking for cool new ways that Opportunity supporters find to help us end poverty. So when we read this story on Opportunity Canada’s blog about three teens going plaid for Opportunity, we loved it! Check it out below or on opportunityinternational.ca.
Three girls, one shirt, one pair of shoes, 100 days, 2,500 dollars, 17 women, 85 lives. What does this mean? Nothing to most of us, but when those three girls are Abby, Bethany, and Chrissy it means a lot more. These three junior high girls decided to wear one shirt and one pair of shoes for 100 days to raise over $2,500! And for what? To do something that could help 17 women and their families in the developing world improve their lives.
“After reading ‘Do Hard Things‘ by Alex and Brett Harris we were inspired to make a difference. We really wanted to do something, anything really,” Bethany said, “so after some research we decided to raise money for Opportunity International. We wanted to do something useful with our teen years. We wanted to change lives.” And so they did by starting the “Plaid For People” campaign.
The project started on November 1, 2011 and will come to an end on February 8, 2012. On their story page on OpportunityCan–Opportunity Canada’s online platform where people can share their story, raise funds and invite others to end poverty and transform lives–the girls said:
"We are wearing one shirt and one pair of shoes for 100 days. The shirt represent the very small amount of clothing that people in poverty have compared to us, and the shoes represent that 50% of the world (300 million of them being children) do not have shoes, and even if they do, they only have one pair.
By doing this we’re trying to place ourselves in their shoes, literally. We will be going around door-to-door in our neighborhoods raising money, holding events at our church and anything else that we can to meet our goal."
And they did. They fundraised at their church, craft fairs, Ten Thousand Villages, and a little bit in their neighborhoods. Arlene, Abby’s mom, said, “The three girls have astonished us with their dream to change world poverty through sacrifice and wearing one shirt and one pair of shoes for one hundred days to both experience simplicity and to raise awareness for Opportunity International.” She went on to say, “As a parent of one of the girls, I was skeptical. So I chose to sit back and ‘just see’ if they could actually raise money this way. But all their hard work, determination, and commitment to excellence has inspired many in our community! I’ve had to, fortunately, rearrange my thinking about teenagers and not put a lid on their dreams and abilities.”
So why on earth would three junior high girls want to do something like this? When we asked why they responded with, “For the glory of God.”
To learn more about the Plaid for People project, leave comments or make a donation, visit plaidforpeople.opportunitycan.ca.
NOTE (Opportunity Canada): The 17 women helped was calculated by taking the $2,500 raised and dividing it by the average loan size to first time clients of $142. For every one loan, it is our estimate that 4-6 others (children, relatives, employees, etc.) are impacted. Therefore the 85 lives impacted was calculated by taking the number of potential loans, 17, multiplied by 5, average number of others impacted. Funds that are generously raised and donated to Opportunity International are used to provide financial services, including loans, savings, insurance and training, to people trapped in poverty who can benefit from them.